Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 247 Pages
At a Glance: Just when you think you might have it all figured out… That would be a no. I love it!
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Cambridge, 1910
Amateur detectives Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith seem to have nothing more taxing on their plate than locating a missing wooden cat and solving the dilemma of seating thirteen for dinner. But one of the guests brings a conundrum: a young woman has been found dead, and her boyfriend is convinced she was murdered. The trouble is, nobody else agrees.
Investigation reveals that several young people in the local area have died in strange circumstances, and rumours abound of poisonings at the hands of Lord Toothill, a local mysterious recluse. Toothill’s angry, gun-toting gamekeeper isn’t doing anything to quell suspicions, either.
But even with a gun to his head, Jonty can tell there’s more going on in this surprisingly treacherous village than meets the eye. And even Orlando’s vaunted logic is stymied by the baffling inconsistencies they uncover. Together, the Cambridge Fellows must pick their way through gossip and misdirection to discover the truth.
Review: How does she do it? How does Charlie Cochrane’s mind come up with this stuff? Just when you think you might have it all figured out… That would be a no. I love it!
Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith are amateur detectives who are gaining quite a reputation for themselves and their ability to solve crimes. Lessons for Idle Tongues is book 11 in the Cambridge Fellows mystery series, and in my opinion, they keep getting better and better. Charlie Cochrane is a master at writing period appropriate stories. Everything about her characters, from dress to speech, is spot on to the time period. How Jonty and Orlando have to work to solve the conundrums they are presented with is totally believable—they don’t make leaps of faith or accomplish feats only someone in a later time period would know how to do. Cochrane’s stories are about the mysteries, the search for clues, the people you meet, the delicious bits you find along the way.
Each of the installments in the Cambridge Fellows series is a standalone book; however, you do really get a continuity of characters if you read them from the beginning. Many of her main characters, Jonty and Orlando and their friends and family – even the servants – all have their places in the timeline.
There’s a wooden cat, and the problem of having 13 to dinner – which is just not done – and rumors of a dead girl. There is lots of gossip, layers of misdirection, and could there even be more dead bodies? Of course, the answer always lies close to home. The next installment is due out October 12th and that is just too far away for the next mystery to arrive… I cannot wait for Lessons for Sleeping Dogs!
You can buy Lessons for Idle Tongues here: